Wednesday, July 20, 2011

100,000 Words - Installment #2

Hello! So, I decided that because of the sporadic times at which I'll get my pictures developed, I can't go week by week. Therefore they will now be "installments."

It's been a trying couple of weeks, I'm not going to lie. There have been some days where I just didn't want to get up, days where I didn't have any transportation, days where things were just too stressful. But you know what? I made it. I'm past day 20. I'm going strong.

I think this project is actually extremely important to me. I can hardly count the number of days that I would've just stayed in bed and stared at the ceiling all day if I didn't have this project pushing and pulling me outside. There is absolutely nothing worse for my condition than to lay in bed all day. Nothing. Because all that quiet gives me time to think. And if I get time to think, I will. I will think myself to tears. But this project gets me outside. It keeps me moving and gives me something to look forward to every single day.

I keep thinking it's going to get easier for me to go up to people and talk to them and ask for their picture, but man. It is still so hard. I've been rejected 5+ times since the last update. One day I got turned down twice in a row, and my confidence about the whole thing seriously took a hit. I got all nervous and anxious and almost wanted to give up for the day. I did stick it out, but I wasn't particularly happy about it for a while.

Still, I completely understand the hesitancy. If someone comes up to you saying, "oh hey, can I take your picture? I promise I'm not a creepy stalker or anything," you're bound to be a little uncomfortable. I mean. I don't actually say that 2nd part, so it's a little less creepy, but still.

As for me, I think I'd be ALL ABOUT IT if someone came up to me and was like, "hey, you look really interesting and cool, can I please take your picture?" Plus I always offer to give them my the address to this blog so they can see their picture if I post it.
But then again, I am doing this project, so I can't find it too creepy.

I got the MEANEST rejection this week. It was tragic. I was in Target on day 15 when I saw this guy with this kinda cool, kinda creepy braided facial hair...thing. It was like a soul patch-beard-jack sparrow kind of look, but less attractive. So I figured, hey! Maybe I'll take his picture! Why not?
I approached him and as the words fell out of my mouth I realized that he was definitely inebriated.

I asked, "hey, I'm sorry, but can I take your picture?"
He responded, "What, you just corner people in Target and ask for their picture? What is that?"
Already I was super uncomfortable so I just kinda half-heartedly murmured, "It's for a project..."
To which HE said, "Suuuuure it is..."

It made me sad. I mean, what else would it be for? I quit for the day after that, which I probably shouldn't have.
When I played basketball my philosophy was to never leave the court on a miss. It's kind of the same with this project. If I quit after someone was so mean, I'm going to be hesitant the next day. It's fact. This project is really forcing me to just face up to those fears and get stuff done. It's AWESOME, but so difficult. So I guess that day was a success/failure.
But mostly a success. I did get a picture. And that's all that counts. :)

A couple of days after my last blog post, I decided to start talking to people a little more and learning a little bit about them. Nothing TOO in-depth unless they carry on the conversation and don't have anywhere else to be. I really try not to keep people from their various endeavors if I can help it. That being said, I am SO GLAD I started doing this. I have met some insanely cool people that have been loads of fun to talk to.

It amazes me how after a really crappy day where people have turned me down and my confidence is shot, one good, nice, decent person can just make my day a million times better -- I forget all about the people that turned me down, and I just revel in the fact that people are so incredible. Really, though. Everyone has something different about them. There is always SOMETHING unique about someone, whether it be a story about their favorite tattoo, or a simple mannerism that stands out. No one is the same. I have so much love for people. Even the douches that turn me down. ;)

Okay, I'm really not that bitter. People can turn me down and I don't hate them. Just for the record.

A couple of days ago I took pictures with my friend. This was the first time I had taken a picture of an interesting person with anyone but my sisters and Ashley [and Phoebe, but I kind of count her as my sister]. Sarah was visiting from Utah and I really, really wanted to hang out with her, but I needed my picture.

We ventured off to the local Barnes and Noble. It was then when I discovered how truly weird I am. I had to voice all my thoughts to keep Sarah entertained and WOW. I was like, "what do you think of her? I kind of like her eyes and earrings. Oh, and she has this and this facial expression. Oh, and the lighting in that area is...etc." and then before I approach, "ahhhh, ohmygosh, okay. I can do this. I've done it many many times before. IT WILL BE OKAY."

Maybe not in those EXACT words...I may have played it cooler than that...but really. I'm bizarre. But I met some really wicked cool people that day, so the weirdness kind of cancels out.

Hmm...enough intro, I guess?

Day 9:

Okay, this was an awesome day. This is when I was still just collecting names, but this is Kevin. My bff Phoebe and I were hanging out and I decided that I required a picture for the day. We walked down to the local Food Lion and found an ADORABLE Asian girl, so I was pretty sure I was set. That was, until we saw two guys walking hand-in-hand down a path by Phoebe's house. They looked SUPER slick with their shades and stylin' apparel, PLUS they had a puppy with them. I was sold. I ran to catch up with them. When I approached, they were extremely, extremely nice about it. A couple of "absolutely!"'s reached my ears.
I found out that their dog's name is Pringles, which I found precious. He was a cute, tiny pug and I was in love with him. I was really, really happy to find them. They were the most adorable gay couple EVER, and they had a cute dog. Win. Plus they are entirely photogenic. I mean, look at this. REALLY, THOUGH. The other guy, James, will be in the "honorable mentions" post after this. I was really disappointed with myself when I didn't have the foresight to get a picture of the dog. BAD, RAE. :) But I definitely would love to be their friends. Such cool people.
After they went on their way, Phoebe and I geeked out over how tiny Pringles was, and decided he was the new measure for the size/cuteness of dogs.
"Well, this dog is probably 2 Pringles."
I think it's an accurate standard by which to measure. Tell a friend. We could start a dog-measuring revolution!

Day 10:
I had had a pretty okay day of picture taking when I saw this girl and a few of her friends outside of my apartments one Sunday evening. Now, she doesn't have any insane tattoos or anything, but there was something about her that just made me really want to get her picture. I don't even think I was wearing shoes, but I went up to her nervously and asked for her picture.
She was a little unsure at first, but her friend kinda peer pressured her into it a little, for which I was grateful. HE was also really interesting. Supposedly Navajo or something like that, but I didn't end up getting his picture. And hey, she turned out to be fascinating.
Her name is Casey and she graduated NC State and University of Illinois with degrees in archaeology and animation.
I asked her if she was from around here, and she was like, "yeah, I live in Apex now." So I followed up, of course, and asked if she had always lived in NC, and she just exchanged these laughable looks with her friend and she was like, "naaaaah, I've lived pretty much everywhere." When I asked where her favorite place to live was, she responded, to my utter delight, "Uhhhm, Japan."
...UM WHAT. Japan?? Apparently this girl has been pretty much EVERYWHERE in the world aside from Africa and Australia. When I asked where she's traveled she said to me, "I think the easier question to answer is where HAVEN'T I been?"
I...I almost died. Of jealousy and amazement. She apparently had friends and whatnot all over Europe. She's spent most of her time in Brussels [that's in Belgium, in case you didn't know] because that's where one of her best friends lives. That being said, she has been absolutely everywhere. She said the most comfortable place to live would be Japan, but the coolest place she's been is the Czech Republic. She told me about this subway that was being built, and as they were digging in the ground they came across this ancient ruin -- a castle they thought had been destroyed ages ago. You can apparently go down there and even touch this ancient building. Amaaazing, right?
This girl speaks English, French, Japanese and a little bit of German. She's extreeemely humble. Her friend kept speaking up being like, "really, she's just being modest. This girl is amazing at everything and is crazy cool." She's currently between jobs, but hopes to travel more soon. She told me that everyone can travel if they want to. They just need to be prepared and know how to utilize connections. It made me DESPERATELY want to go somewhere. Time to start saving. :)

Day 11:
Alright, this is Charlie. He doesn't actually have a really great story or anything, but he is an extremely cool looking guy. I loved his tattoos. You can see in this picture the word "Blessed" tattooed across his collarbone. He had a few other really cool ones along his arms. He seemed like he was in a big hurry, so I didn't keep him. I'm pretty sure I had been rejected earlier that day, so it was nice to get SOMEONE, and it built my confidence a bit. He seemed really nice, though. Also the lighting in this picture gives me joy. :) The end.

Day 12:

Ahhh, Okay.
Before explaining the person, I have to tell you about the day Jenny and I had.
So, we're driving to the Galaxy Cinema [cutest theater ever...they serve pastries and tea and coffee and show a bunch of indie films. Also they have a bunch of ethnic stuff going on other's neat] to get our Harry Potter 7 tickets. In the car we're joking about how we're social pariahs, but we couldn't quite figure out the exact definition of "pariah." We just knew it wasn't good. Well, we arrived at the cinema and decided, "HEY. Let's be spontaneous and just see whatever movie we think looks good." So we got a couple of Chai's and bought tickets to the next showing of Beginners. All we knew about it was that it was starring Ewen McGregor. As we stepped into the theater and sat down, up on the screen popped:
"Pariah | puh-rahy-uh | noun
A person without status. A rejected member
of society. An outcast."
We freaked. out. It was such a magical day. Also that looked like an interesting movie. Check out the trailer.

And AFTER that trailer came a TORCHWOOD trailer. Like, Doctor Who! WHAT?? So amazing! Plus Beginners was precious. Absolutely adorable. I loved it with my whole soul and everyone should see it. You can watch the trailer here.

So. Okay. Best day. But BEFORE the movie magic, we had about a half hour wait. While waiting, we made small talk with this girl, Kara. And she is fabulous. She was married to a guy that worked at the Galaxy too, and that's how they met. She just graduated with a degree in African American History at NC State along with her husband. She said she was applying for a grad school and I'm pretty sure she said she wants to even get a doctorate in it. CRAZY COOL.
I figured since she worked at a wicked cool movie theater, she had to have a favorite movie. She thought about it for a while and finally came up with The Dreamers, which I still have to watch. I'll let you know if it's any good. ;) She seemed really cool and had a wicked good taste in music. She was an Avetts fan, she was going to the Real Estate concert that night, she liked The Black Keys and a bunch of other obscure stuff I had never even heard of. I was impressed. And I would totally be her friend. She gave me an application to apply there, but they turned out to not be hiring, which is severely disappointed about. I kinda thought it was fate. But, alas, I remain unemployed. But that's not the point. The point is that Kara is extremely cool. And I like her. Also she takes a fabulous picture.

Day 13:
Okay, this is BY FAR my favorite story to date.
I walked down to the local Starbucks to pick up a passion tea lemonade after a rough day of people-watching. No one had really caught my eye yet. I figured Starbucks was as good a place as any.
As I sat down, I noticed her with a guy, probably her husband. I told myself that at the first opportunity, I would go ask for her picture. As she stood up to throw something away, I seized the moment -- and I was not sorry.
Her name is Brandie. As I took her picture, I said to her, "do you mind if I ask about the hair?" Which I know is an iffy thing to say, but she just seemed so nice. The response I got was just...amazing. She said, "Well, I have a skin cancer. It was making my hair fall out anyway, so I figured I'd just rock the bald look." She never stopped smiling. She was laughing. She had the best attitude about it ever.
She has stage 2 of a skin cancer that I can't quite recall the exact name of. Lymph-something. I should've written it down. Anyway, she told me that for a while she was getting itchy red spots on her chest and neck and was feeling really ill. After a time, she went to the doctor and they found a mass in her upper chest that turned out to be cancerous.
The day I met her, she was celebrating the half-way mark in her treatment. In about 6 more months, she will be completely cancer-free!
What an amazing person. Seriously. She was just so positive and happy as she told me, a stranger, this story. And her smile was infectious. What a wonderful, wonderful human being. She was so sweet and I was extremely glad I talked to her.
Also I love her earrings. :)
Day 14:

This guy was funny. His name is Justin. I was flying it solo, walking around the mall one day [because there are always interesting people at the mall] when I saw him. I immediately was diggin' on his hair. This was one of the easiest times I've had approaching someone and the easiest picture to get for one reason: He was so, so, so high. And the friendly flavor of high. So when I asked, "hey, can I take your picture?" he immediately responded, "yes! Forreal? Please will you take my picture? Go for it! Oh my gosh, this is exciting."
AWESOME. I was like, "well, alright then!" and I snapped a shot. He was kind of hard to get information out of because he was so distracted with his high-ness. But I did manage to gather that he went to Green Hope, and graduated this year. Next year he's going to UNC for music. He plays the guitar and a few other instruments. Once I decided it wasn't worth trying to communicate with him in that state anymore, I did end up leaving him. But, hey. He was nice. :D

Day 15:
Meet Tamara, everyone.
Sometimes I simply have no idea where to go to get a picture. It is harder than you'd think. Especially because I have no transportation 99% of the time. I decided that I had worn out my welcome at Harris Teeter, so I walked down to Target instead.
It was kinda sad because when I approached her and tried to take her picture the first time because I realized that I was out of film, so I had to reload before actually taking her picture. Only slightly embarrassing. Luckily she was waaaay nice, so she seemed cool with it.
She had her daughter with her and her kid was so, so, so cute. She's a single mom, which I think I poorly responded with "oh, that's cool." *facepalm.* Really Rae? What I mean by that is, "I really respect that. It can't be super easy and I think it's really great that you're doing it."
Tamara was really interesting. She was in the nursing program at Wake Tech, but she's really into art. She draws and writes poetry, which is super cool.
-Once upon a time I wrote poetry. It was awful. The end. :)-
She asked me about my photography and other stuff I did, and it was really just a fun conversation. She was so chill. Success. :)

Day 16:
I waited until the last second to get this picture, let me tell you. I just don't settle, man. I need someone genuinely interesting. I was at Food Lion with my sisters, probably picking up spaghetti sauce or something unhealthy to satisfy our hunger, when I ran into her and her boyfriend. Her name is Prianka, which I thought was a wicked sweet name. I thought she looked totally fabulous. She studies animation, which seems to be a very popular subject for the interesting people I come across. She's into graphic design and whatnot. I don't really have a ton to say about her because they were in a hurry, but she was extremely nice and pretty perky. And with a name like Prianka, it has to be good.
...wait, what?

Day 17:

This is Sylvia. And she is fascinating.
Sara, Ashley and I were exploring the flea market one Saturday afternoon when we walked into this woman's store. She sold all sorts of Cherokee merchandise that she makes herself by hand. ALL OF IT was made by her.
As we walked in we started looking at these magnetic healing bracelets. She came over and explained how they have been used on things as big as broken legs. She told us that if she didn't wear those bracelets she wouldn't be able to make all the things she does because of her severe arthritis. It was suuuper cool.
She told us a little about the reservation and how things are done there. She has made an extraordinary amount of stuff. From baskets to dream catchers to jewelry, etc. It is absolutely incredible.
I noticed an extremely cool tattoo on her wrist, but I couldn't quite make out what it was. She told me that the colors of her scarf were Cherokee.
Sara ended up buying these awesome earrings Sylvia carved out of ___ tree. They're extremely cute. And hey, they are one of a kind. I may be a little jealous.
I really enjoyed talking with her and her husband while we were in there. She made me promise I'd show her the picture when I print it out, and I definitely intend to keep my word. She was super classy. I am officially a big fan.

Day 18:

Meet Garrett. :)
I took this on a day when Ashley went to drop off an application at Cup o' Joe. I saw him outside and I think what got me was the earrings and beard. Plus he was just chilling on Hillsborough Street, which, as we all know, is where the cool kids hang out.
...wait. :/
But really, he was super cool. He worked at a bar a few blocks away which I was told had "a great environment and good beer." Also I was told to check it out. Maybe for the burgers! :D
Naaah, but he was really chill. He had me take a picture of his friend, which will be on the honorable mentions post.
I think Cup o' Joe should become a regular hang out for me. And if Ashley gets a job there, I'll even have a mini-excuse! Some of the best people I've met hang out at that place. Plus I stole a sip of Sara's chai and it was insanely good. It even had chai whipped cream. Like, what? AWESOME.
Day 19:

This was the day that Sarah helped me out. I had already gotten a couple of pictures, but I decided it would be best to venture to the mall. Thank goodness I did! When I saw this guy and a couple of other girls about his age, I knew that I wanted to take his picture. The issue was that I was worried they were punk teenagers hanging out in the mall and I didn't really feel like bothering with punk teenagers. However, I decided since Sarah was there I would just get one more picture and call it a day.
These people were so. awesome. This is Aaron.
I approached them fairly cautiously. I was definitely a little nervous. After a big pep talk to myself and looking at the same beige back for 10 minutes contemplating my options, I finally went up to them and asked, "Hey, can I take your picture?" and explained my project.
They were definitely alright with it, but were also definitely a little shy about the fact that I was taking their pictures separately. haha. They argued a little bit about who would go first and finally I got their pictures.
I may or may not have made the mistake of asking if they were dating...yeah, they were siblings. They started laughing and Gabrielle [the girl] said, "naaah, he's not my type."
I found out that these guys were from Texas touring for a Spanish band they're in. They said I definitely wouldn't remember the name, so they just didn't tell me. The short version was like...LFPN or something. Don't quote me on that one, though. Not 100% sure. They said they played a bunch of different types of Spanish music, which I thought was really cool. This was their first time to NC, as they usually played in Texas and California.
I don't know if this guy was in the band, they didn't make it abundantly clear through their laughter. :)
They were so incredibly nice, I'm not gonna lie. I would totally be their friend. I'll have the pictures of the other two people I met here on the honorable mentions post coming up.

Well, that's it! I've heard the first 30 days are the hardest, so. LET'S GO. ;) This has been so much fun. It just keeps getting better. I can't wait to post the next batch of pictures. I already have some REALLY cool people lined up. :)

Oooh, I had a photography job the other day. It was awesome. It was David and Cami Romney's wedding reception and me and Phian took pretty pictures. :) EXCITING FOR ME. I'll probably post my favorites on this here blog.

Almost 200 notes! If you speak tumblr, that is a really, really exciting thing to happen to your photography. Well. At least, to me. I'm really proud of it. :) Only yesterday it had 87 and I was super excited. This is really fabulous.

Alright, well, thanks to whoever is following! I'm sure if I passed you on the street and I didn't know you, I'd photograph you. Because you are GREAT. I'll get a new post up the next time I get film developed!



--She Moves in Her Own Way by The Kooks--
I felt like my blog needed some
more music and this song applied
well enough. :)


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I feel like I'm the only one that comments on your blog, but I check it quite often and was happy to see a new post :) YOU ARE SO BRAVE! And I'm excited to see you soon!!!!!

    Lanny out